Last Thursday we looked into the fourth beatitude which Jesus says is, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
This Thursday we will be looking into what I believe, in a way, is the second part of “those who hunger and thirst.” This beatitude is “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
You might be asking yourself, “What on earth is Jesus saying here! Blessed are those who are persecuted?!” By the standard of the World this doesn’t make a lot of sense. But let’s break this down.
When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we are satisfied. We are satisfied by Christ coming and filling us with His righteousness and character. When we are satisfied by Christ we begin to follow in His steps. When this happens we begin to reflect Christ into the World and He will begin to use us to bring about His will. This is how God uses us to bring His light and life into the World that so desperately needs it. But what happens is that we have an Enemy and nothing makes our Enemy more upset than God bringing about His kingdom on earth. Our Enemy will use every trick in the book to try and pull us away from God and His Will. If you look in scripture at every time the kingdom of God begins to move you will also see opposition arise. Every. Single. Time. And one form of opposition that our Enemy uses, is persecution.
“Those who are persecuted,” are those who have been wrongly treated because of their faith. Sometimes persecution can be small things (No I do not mean Starbuck’s coffee cups small), other times persecution can be large things. It can range from name calling and rumors to torture and murder.
So why does Jesus say we are blessed in persecution? Because He was persecuted first. We are blessed in persecution because we are sharing in Christ’ persecution. He is saying that if we share His persecution and sorrow then we will also share His blessings and reward. When we believe in Christ as our Savior and set Him as Lord over our lives we becoming joint heirs with Him in the kingdom of Heaven. We are blessed in persecution because we can look ahead to our provision and inheritance in Christ that is guaranteed to us in the New World.
Take hold of this Hope and may it bring you Joy and Strength in times of happiness and hardship!
Here is my challenge to you today:
1. Pray to God and thank Him for His provision and His goodness.
2. If you have experienced persecution before thank Him for seeing you through it and ask Him to show you how He has brought it about for His glory.
3. Pray for your fellow brothers and sisters around the world who are experiencing harsh persecution for their belief in Jesus.
4. Live knowing you are fellow heirs with Christ!
16 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:16-17
Blog Post by: Noah Barfield